A portrait of Zanna van Dijk

Three Lesser-known Benefits of Exercise

We all know that it is vital for our health to exercise and move our bodies, and doing so will support our physical wellbeing and build fitness levels. Plus, it has the power to make us feel amazing! But what about the lesser-known benefits of working out? Here are three benefits you might not know about:

Gut Health

Exercise can hugely improve digestion. Let’s get straight into the business end here. When we exercise our intestines contract and pass waste through our system, helping to reduce the risk of constipation. Studies have also shown that those who kept to a fitness regime improved the healthy microbes in their gut in just six weeks, and if they reverted to sedentary behaviour then the gut went back to its original state. And if that isn't enough to get you motivated, exercise has also been linked with easing the symptoms of can ease the symptoms of digestive issues. So, get your trainers on and get moving - your microbiome will thank you!

Brain Power

Let’s get our science hats on. Regular exercise has also been shown to support blood flow to the brain. It can help prevent cognitive decline by boosting chemicals that prevent the degeneration of the hippocampus, which plays a huge role in the brain to support memory and learning. A tough workout can also boost levels of BNF – brain-derived protein - which are linked to decision making and overall brain power. Not to mention, exercise has been also shown to support your mood and reduce stress levels, releasing happy hormones and giving a post-workout buzz. So, if you want to sharpen your mind and be able to think on your feet you’re going to benefit from some physical exercise. If all this isn’t reason enough to get moving, then I don't know what is!


We all love a good nap, but sleep is so much more than a simple pleasure. It is in fact one of the most underrated elements of a healthy lifestyle, and is absolutely essential to our longevity, recovery and overall wellbeing. Regular exercise has been shown in numerous studies to help increase both the quality and duration of our sleep, especially when done consistently over time. So next time you want a good night’s kip, try and get in some exercise during the day and feel the benefits.

And the best part about all of this? Exercise is free and can be done anywhere, anytime. At home, in the park or at the gym. Whatever works for you, just move your body and you will give yourself access to these incredible benefits for both body and mind.